Darkly Digital Over the past few years as we’ve watched the digital revolution help bring about political and social revolutions around the world, it has seemed inevitable that the Internet would set people free. But think again, say Jared Cohen of the Council on Foreign Relations and Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Google. “Technology doesn’t just help the good guys pushing for democratic reform,” they write in an essay posted on the council’s website, CFR.
The candidates competing in the May elections are nothing if not a colorful bunch.
Actors, pop stars, disgraced politicians, alleged terrorists, and even a former pinup girl—Pakistan’s freewheeling general elections have always attracted a motley crew of candidates. And as the country prepares for its first transition from a fully civilian-elected government to another, this year is proving no exception, with 15,629 candidates competing for the 849 seats in the national and four provincial assemblies. Here are some of the more colorful candidates of the 2013 elections, which take place May 11: THE CRICKET CAPTAIN Imran Khan Just a few months ago, it seemed the elections were Khan’s to lose.
It should be a huge party Tuesday, when Willem-Alexander becomes the first Dutch king since 1890. But the Boston blasts and Dutch citizens joining jihadists have heightened security fears, reports Nadette De Visser.
Amsterdam is preparing for a spectacular celebration Tuesday, when Queen Beatrix will step down from the throne she’s held for 33 years to make way for her son Willem-Alexander, who will be crowned king. He will be, in fact, the first king of the Netherlands since 1890, when King Willem III died and three generations of impressive queens followed. The ceremony at the Nieuwe Kerk on Dam Square should be a model of stately splendor.Yet as the festivities begin—the parties, the music, the outdoor markets—there’s also an undercurrent of deep concern.
Donors give the gift of prenatal care to women in developing countries as a tribute to mom.
In 2011, Tiangay, a 16-year-old girl from Sierra Leone, was brutally raped by her high-school teacher. She received traditional care for the damage she suffered, but soon became dehydrated, weak from blood loss, and nearly unable to walk. Seeking treatment at West Africa Fistula Foundation (WAFF), she underwent a fistula-repair surgery via donations from Samahope, a crowd-funding website for surgeries. “You saved my life,” she told her doctor, WAFF’s founder Darius Maggi, as she prepared to return to her goal of attending nursing school.
Italy just got itself a new prime minster.
By Italian standards, it was positively expeditious. Only two months after the elections, a prime minister was appointed and handed the unenviable task of forming a workable Italian government.At 46, Enrico Letta is one of the youngest leaders in Europe and certainly one of the youngest politicians in the country, where the average age of a lawmaker is 59.But these are not the only characteristics that make Letta stand out against the baroque backdrop of Italian politics.
A desperate gunman opens fire outside of the prime minister’s office as Italy’s new government is sworn in. Barbie Latza Nadeau reports.
Sunday was supposed to be a day of celebration in Rome, with a new government, led by center-left politician, Enrico Letta, sworn in on the Quirinal Hill after 18 months of a crippling political stalemate. There was optimism for the first time in months as the new team of 21 ministers from across the political spectrum—including a record seven women—prepared to take their oaths. But before that could happen, shots rang out in front of Italy’s Palazzo Chigi, the prime minister’s offices in the heart of historic Rome, just a kilometer away.
Coptic Christians and other minorities in Egypt are feeling voiceless under the country’s new Islamist government. In fact, the problem is region-wide, reports Vivian Salama.
Since the popular uprising of 2011, Botrous Samy, a medical doctor in Cairo, has struggled with a new, rather daunting dilemma: “One morning, I woke up and realized that at age 38, I had no real political views,” he said. “Suddenly, I felt lost.”His political aspirations long stifled by decades of autocratic rule, Samy, a Coptic Christian, voiced dissent like many of his fellow Christians – through the scope of religion. “It is a fact, Copts have not been given the same opportunities and often had to work harder to achieve the same goals as a Muslim colleague, so this dominated our rhetoric,” he recalled.
Obama is right not to rush to war, given our checkered past on the use of chemical weapons and the sinkhole of hatreds in Syria, writes Leslie H. Gelb.
Of course, we Americans think it’s horrible for any nation to use chemical weapons—except when we don’t. And of course, we want to punish any user of chemical weapons—except when we don’t. And of course, many now screaming against Syria’s likely use of chemical weapons against its rebels didn’t do much complaining when Iraq hurled these internationally banned gases against Iran and its own Kurdish people in the 1980s. And of course, American interventionists now demand U.
As America gathers evidence on Syria's alleged chemical-weapons attacks, analysts say Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may be emboldened to launch more.
On Thursday, after the United States joined several allies in announcing that the Syrian government had likely used chemical weapons against the country’s rebels—on a “small scale,” as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel put it—many commentators wondered if the Obama administration’s so-called red line on Syria had finally been crossed. And critics of America’s reluctance to wade too deeply into the Syrian conflict said the time for greater U.S. involvement had come.
Don’t get too excited about this week’s revived peace talks between Afghanistan and Pakistan, since both countries came to the table with specific, complicated demands. But Shamila N. Chaudhary and Omar Samad say hope is not lost—but appointing an envoy to the region is essential.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s diplomatic initiative to host talks between Afghan and Pakistani leaders in Brussels this week was a timely step meant to reset tense relations between the two South Asian neighbors, and revive stalled talks with the Taliban as the 2014 deadline for the U.S. and NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan approaches.With no immediate breakthrough on the horizon, the Secretary emerged after three hours of talks saying that both sides have "some very specific homework to do.
Far Right Marches Across U.K.
Following British soldier's murder. More
School Bus Catches Fire in Pakistan
17 dead, seven injured.More
SECRET AGENT MAN
MI5 Recruited Woolwich Suspect
He allegedly turned them down.More
IT WASN’T ME
Toronto Mayor: I Don’t Smoke Crack
“Nor am I an addict,” says Rob Ford.More
Drama in the Sky
Pakistan Airlines Flight Diverted
After on-board incident. More
New cellphone videos show police and pedestrians responding to Wednesday's horrific attack in London.
She is a true inspiration. Teenage activist Malala Yousafzai has released a video statement for the first time since being shot by the Taliban last October. 'God has given me this new life,' Malala says, and in return, she is launching the Malala Fund, created to help educate children all over the world.
Jean Trinh explores LACMA’s retrospective on James Turrell’s career and talks to the artist about light-play.